BY KAREN GOULDING
Africa suffers artificial drought of hardcore and outstanding professionals in every field. This plaque has become more visible with Africans joyful acceptance of the neo-colonial erroneous, biased and destructive verdict of Africa as a continent of failures.
And each time, these alien forces descend their imperial knives on the precious skins of Africans and Africa, it deposits far-reaching consequences. Africans exceptionally gifted are held back in giving out their best. They suffer a psychological inhibition based on these polluted verdicts imposed on people of the continent.
But Africans are equally and competitively, very intelligent like the white-skinned people. How Africans prefer to celebrate their foolery, instead of positive assertion of themselves is really a riddle.
Nonetheless, as time ebbs, more courageous Africans have overcome these mental barriers and are steeping out to prove to the whole world the real substance or worth of an African.
No one can deny brilliance and intelligence of African people in every chosen field of human specialization. Nigerians in particular have carved a niche for themselves in their preferred careers. They are celebrities in academics?, science and indeed, in all professions.
As the largest black nation on earth, the conspiracy of foreign nations against Nigeria is really subject of a whole thesis.
The blackmail of compelling the people to think more in failure and destruction, than progress has impinged on the psyche of Nigerians retardation. It has gone to sublime levels that optimal exhibition of skills is most times impeded in some people because of this belittlement.
As determined as ever, Nigerians are gradually breaking these barriers to demonstrate their excellence to the world. That’s why Nigerians are usually elated, anytime a Nigerian displays uncommon exploits or accomplishments in his career, especially in exceptional professions.
It explains why Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai’s embodiment of professionalism, perfection, discipline and courage in the war against terrorism excites the people.
Upon leading the counter-insurgency war that humbled Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs), Nigerians feted him with celebrations and Africa picked it up and expanded it. Today, Gen. Buratai is celebrated around the world, as an exceptional professional soldier of high esteem.
To many, the Nigerian Army Chief is indescribable. Also, a peep into his persona does not provide easy insights either. What is however certain is that his personage undulates with unrivalled zeal for exceptional exploits and successes. He has an extremely infectious aura.
But what has worked more for this African Army General is his flair for professionalism, discipline, uprightness in leadership, selflessness, courage, transparency, principle of inclusiveness and hard work. And all these have been seared in the passion for positive results in all endeavors; which have made him a worthy assert to Nigeria, Africa and the world.
Beyond flattery, Gen. Buratai is admittedly a special specie of humanity. By the dictates of his profession, he ought to be tough and rugged; but to the contrary, he is amiable and humane in dealing with fellow men.
It’s scarce to find such qualities and virtues buried in a single soul in the military, particularly in Nigeria.
Africans have seen Gen. Buratai as both a leader and soldier in the trenches, much as in the administrative boardroom of his vocation, bearing all risks, good or bad. He does not chase shadows and nothing distracts his focus and concentration.
True to his type, Gen. Buratai personifies the Christ-like motif of troops under his command. He positions himself to feel their pains, sufferings, agonies; the heat in the trenches, the dejections and the defeats.
He is not bossy, so shares the victories and joys of his troops in the same measure the least among troops would feel. It’s not unusual to see him spend Sallah or Christmas celebrations with troops in the battlefield, where he personally lights the candle of bonfire carnivals. This is a mark of leadership, very scarce nowadays.
Understanding the strength behind the modus operendi of Gen. Buratai has proven to be no easy path to walk. But suffice it to say, in achieving efficiency and effectiveness on targets, the COAS utilizes his unique talents to create the needed impact.
He is feted in Africa and beyond because Gen. Buratai extensively tapped and improvised on the wisdom, vision and intellectual prowess of men or globally acclaimed war veterans, upon his appointment as the ombudsman of the counter-insurgency war in Nigeria.
It gave birth to the reforms and innovations Buratai brought to bear on the Nigerian Army. Suddenly, Nigerian soldiers? adjudged as weaklings, who could shamelessly bid an effeminate retreat in the battlefield became courageously, gallant soldiers to confront terrorists and defeat them.
Therefore, having prepared his house, this Soldier-General courageously broke new grounds and unimaginable records in terrorism warfare. It has continued to draw the inspiration of the world to his convictions, tactics and strategies.
As earlier hinted, there is no iota of doubt that Gen. Buratai must have drawn inspiration from great men, such as the famous English novelist, Ernest Hemmingway, author of the popular “Old Man And The Sea”, Author Hemmingway timelessly asserted that “Once we have a war, there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat, brings worse things, than any that can ever happen in war.”
For this Nigerian Army Chief, the wise counsel of this author was his conviction and guiding principle. It compelled him to face the lethal Boko Haram terrorism war in Nigeria without flinching.
He feared more the consequences of defeat, than the difficulties of surmounting the hurdles, some deliberate, on the battlefield to ensure victory.
And the wisdom, tactics and strategies of Chinese war veteran and father of the Chinese revolution, Mao Tse Tung was also of immense assistance to him, as leader of the counter-insurgency campaigns in Nigeria.
Mao Tse believed thus; “Imaginative, intelligent, and bold leadership is absolutely essential. Commanders and leaders at every echelon must be selected with these specific qualities in mind. Officers and NCOs who are more than competent under normal conditions will frequently be hopelessly ineffective when confronted with dynamic and totally different situations.”
The unfaltering Nigerian Army Chief and Commander of the anti-terrorism war in Nigeria imbibed enough of these virtues and effectively applied them.
So, he risked advance on enemy troops, where his predecessors dreaded; he trailed insurgents and their agents, dynamically in tactics, from battlefield encounters to cyberspace terrorism manifestations and matched action for action.
He suffocated enemy forces’ sources of food and ammunition supply. He endured and ignored all manner of distractions back home to focus on his assignment to earn the victory today savoured by the whole world.
And in all instances, he moved centuries in thinking, ahead of the localized thoughts and strategies of enemy forces- the Boko Haramists.
This Army General slept once in two weeks, always awake to strategize and personally supervise field operations. He left nothing to chance; while terrorists slept every day in their hideouts with the delusion of courage and invincibility.
So, he conquered them and their agents in the trenches, caves, cyberspace propaganda and everywhere.
They scattered in confused directions, as his troops chased them to the point of conquer or surrender.
After the defeat of Boko Haram terrorists, the Nigerian Army Chief also deployed the wisdom of Mao Tse in cleansing communities in Northeast, Nigeria of remnants? of Boko Haram terrorists. He commanded his troops to embark on “Operation Crackdown.” Mao Tse’s thoughts in this direction were that; “After the enemies with guns have been wiped out, there will still be enemies without guns; they are bound to struggle desperately against us, and we must never regard these enemies lightly.
“If we do, nor now raise and understand the problem in this way, we shall commit the gravest mistakes.”
Today, Nigeria has regained her freedom. The world stands up in stupefying relish of Buratai’s exploits and victories over terrorism warfare in Nigeria within the shortest possible time.
This Nigerian Army General perceived defeat in the eyes of troops, but meticulously inspired them into self-confidence, greatness and victory; he triumphed over their disunity and inclination for mutiny and made them converts of the new order of professionalism, discipline, comradeship and pursuit of the common agenda of defeat of enemy forces against Nigeria.
No doubt, Gen. Buratai strikes as an angel to civilians in his operational jurisdictions; but a very venomous snake to enemies of state. For Nigerians and millions of Africans, this Army Chief is simply one of the best Africans in recent times.
This is attested or gleaned from the flurry of unsolicited awards and recognitions showered on him across the globe in the last few months.
The Republic of Brazil recently feted and decorated him with the country’s highest military honour in global recognition of his battle against terrorism in Nigeria and the world.
Thus, Gen. Buratai can be described as a gentlemen soldier, a great soldier of repute, a hero of international dimensions, the conqueror of terrorists in Nigeria and environs.
He has replicated history in Nigeria and the world, by religiously deploying and improvising on the military wisdom of those before him to attain the unimaginable victories in war against terrorism.
Consequently, the world is prodded to utilize his wealth of wisdom to surmount the global monster of terrorism.
This would be a step palpably illustrative of the global agenda on collective action against terrorism, a reality now, than yesterday and likely tomorrow.
But if treasured masters of the game, like Buratai are factored into this global collaborative action against terrorism, the world may likely experience respite.
*Goulding, a security expert writes from 199 Watford Way, Hendon, London, United Kingdom.